I saw today sometime, I don’t recall where exactly for it has been busy day, that Joseph Ratzinger referred to the Church’s care of her sacred liturgical worship as like to tending a garden.
I like the analogy. We prepare the soil and provide water and nourishing fertilizer. We weed and trim and prune. We make sure that plants that need light are in the sun and those which are more delicate get less. We know that some plants grown well next to others. Occasionally we graft. We can be gardeners, but only God makes things grow. So, while imperfect, I like the analogy.
A “gardening” aspect that I enjoyed for a long time was the tending of bonsai trees. These little trees came to mind today, with that gardening analogy.
The care bonsai trees is a good way of thinking about how Holy Church took care of the organic growth of her worship. They can be carefully and patiently guided into pleasing shapes. They need attention and prudent pruning at the right moments. At times the pruning seems harsh, but it is always for the good of the tree, not its destruction.
Here is a nice little video that shows some trimming of a bonsai. It’s just a couple of minutes. Think, as you are watching, of how the Roman liturgy developed from the time before St. Gregory the Great (+ 604) and until the 20th century.
Now that you have watched that, here is a video that gives us something of the attitude of Traditionis custodes.
Such progress! We are now techno-masters of our worship.
Another thing. The care and enjoyment of bonsai trees doesn’t make a lot of noise and it is is pretty well established insofar as what you need for it: simple tools, some patient techniques that take time and practice to master.
The tree harvesting, on the other hand, makes a real racket and also violates Laudato si in about a thousand ways. You just need brute force and a big truck to haul away the haul after cutting a big swath through the woods.